Mammalian Pragmin regulates Src family kinases via the Glu-Pro-Ile-Tyr-Ala (EPIYA) motif that is exploited by bacterial effectors

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 6;108(36):14938-43. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1107740108. Epub 2011 Aug 22.


Several pathogenic bacteria have adopted effector proteins that, upon delivery into mammalian cells, undergo tyrosine phosphorylation at the Glu-Pro-Ile-Tyr-Ala (EPIYA) or EPIYA-like sequence motif by host kinases such as Src family kinases (SFKs). This EPIYA phosphorylation triggers complex formation of bacterial effectors with SH2 domain-containing proteins that results in perturbation of host cell signaling and subsequent pathogenesis. Although the presence of such an anomalous protein interaction suggests the existence of a mammalian EPIYA-containing protein whose function is mimicked or subverted by bacterial EPIYA effectors, no molecule that uses the EPIYA motif for biological function has so far been reported in mammals. Here we show that mammalian Pragmin/SgK223 undergoes tyrosine phosphorylation at the EPIYA motif by SFKs and thereby acquires the ability to interact with the SH2 domain of the C-terminal Src kinase (Csk), a negative regulator of SFKs. The Pragmin-Csk interaction prevents translocalization of Csk from the cytoplasm to the membrane and subsequent inactivation of membrane-associated SFKs. As a result, SFK activity is sustained in cells where Pragmin is phosphorylated at the EPIYA motif. Because EPIYA phosphorylation of Pragmin is mediated by SFKs, cytoplasmic sequestration of Csk by Pragmin establishes a positive feedback regulation of SFK activation. Remarkably, the Helicobacter pylori EPIYA effector CagA binds to the Csk SH2 domain in place of Pragmin and enforces membrane recruitment of Csk and subsequent inhibition of SFKs. This work identifies Pragmin as a mammalian EPIYA effector and suggests that bacterial EPIYA effectors target Pragmin to subvert SFKs for successful infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Helicobacter Infections / genetics
  • Helicobacter Infections / metabolism*
  • Helicobacter pylori / metabolism*
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Signal Transduction*
  • src Homology Domains
  • src-Family Kinases / genetics
  • src-Family Kinases / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • src-Family Kinases